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When asked by a few people around the Anderson football program if he had any feelings of pride or nostalgia after a 53-7 loss to Wayne, former Generals coach Robert Brown had a succinct answer.
“I appreciated my team at Wayne, but that time is over,” said Brown, who is now at the helm at Anderson. “(The game) pissed me off, I wanted to win.”
Brown coached the Generals for three seasons, helping the program grow from a 0-10 squad in 2011 to a 6-4 team in 2013.
With the emotions of Friday's game swirling, Brown tried to keep things as normal as possible both in the days leading up to the season opener and during it
“I didn't want to ignore the obvious, but I tried to make it as much of a regular game as we could,” Brown said. “I didn't high-five any (Wayne) guys (in pre-game), but a couple came up to me and spoke with me during warm-ups.”
Following the game, Brown took time to speak to Wayne players, teachers and administrators.
“Most of them I am friends with on Facebook and it was nice to see them,” Brown said. “That senior class and I came in together and when (the relationship) just kind of stops, it can be weird.”
Watching the Generals fly around to score their largest margin of victory since a 61-0 rout of Northrop in 2009, Brown thought about the similarities between Wayne a few years ago and Anderson now.
“The comparisons of that first Wayne team to this year are so ridiculously close,” said Brown. “It is almost like the same thing all over again. A lot of talent, good football players … just the kids aren't accustomed yet to doing things in a winning way.”
New faces shine for Snider
Instead of taking the role of back-up quarterback entering the season as a slight, Snider junior Isaac Stiebeling used it as motivation.
“(Starting quarterback Colton Painter and I) worked all summer fighting the starting spot,” Stiebeling said. “He beat me out because he is a senior, and rightfully so because he had 12 games of experience under his belt and I did not.”
Stiebeling continued to work hard and was a catalyst in the Panthers' 31-27 victory over Bishop Luers last Friday. Entering the game in relief of Painter midway through the game, the junior threw for 89 yards on 6-of-10 passing and added 61 yards rushing in the win.
It was a pair of Stiebeling to David Turner touchdown passes in the final 3:25 that brought Snider back from the brink.
“Isaac was fresh, he came in and presents a different weapon than what some defenses are used to,” Snider coach Kurt Tippmann said. “He sparked us. He got us rolling and was very effective.”
Expect Painter and Stiebeling to continue to share time, with the younger Stiebeling a change-of-pace type signal caller who is a stronger run option.
Kempf, Barons start 1-0
DeKalb coach Pete Kempf stressed that his team is nowhere near where he wants it, but starting 1-0 for the first time since 2005 is definitely something to celebrate.
“It was a good win for us,” said Kempf about the 26-7 win over Angola last Friday that ended a 13-game losing streak. “Angola is kind of in the same mode as us, new coach, new system, numbers aren't great … it wasn't a great game to watch I'm sure, but we got a win.”
The game was tied at seven after three quarters before the Barons scored 19 points over the final 12 minutes.
Just once did DeKalb score more than 19 points in an entire game a year ago.
The goal early on has been to change the mindset of the football program.
“Before, our guys would hang their head as soon as something bad would happen,” Kempf said. “We have worked to overcome that conditioned sense of failure.
“Just because something bad happens doesn't mean you're going to lose.”
Junior quarterback Harrison Price threw for 163 yards for the Barons, but Kempf thought his defensive unit performed better overall than the offense after forcing five turnovers.
“Our offensive line fought hard … those guys are coming together,” Kempf said. “But overall Friday, the defense was the more impressive of the two units, they flew to the football.”
Bishop Luers senior wide receiver Solomon Smith will have surgery on his ACL, end his final high school season. Smith injured the knee during a scrimmage with East Noble and had hoped to return to the Knights' lineup by midseason. Smith had 39 catches for 318 yards as a junior … For the first time in the 25-year history of the Northeast Hoosier Conference, all eight teams are 1-0 after Week 1 … North Side is the second SAC defending champion in the last three years to lose its first league game the year after a title. Bishop Luers lost to Snider 10-7 in 2012 in Week 1 … Speaking of Luers, senior Tyrell Johnson is iffy heading into the beginning of the week after suffering a rolled ankle late in the first half against Snider. Johnson was deadly offensively early on against the Panthers at wideout and made an impact defensively, including tipping away a potential TD pass in the end zone early on.